Tony Bellew has denied claims that Oleksandr Usyk racked up to 16 pounds ahead of his rematch with Anthony Joshua.
Usyk will be looking to defend the world heavyweight titles he won from AJ in September when the two face off in Saudi Arabia on Saturday – which you can hear live and exclusively on talkSPORT.
The Ukrainian staged a tactical masterclass to defeat the Briton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a convincing points win.
Many believe Joshua’s attempts to dispatch Usyk were short-sighted and many predict the 32-year-old will go to hell for leather this time around, with Usyk fighting like a heavyweight on just three occasions.
Usyk is preparing for an assault on Joshua in Saudi Arabia with recent footage of him showing him cut with a much bigger physique.
Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT he thinks the Ukrainian could tip the scales more than a stone more than the first fight.
Bellew, who lost his world cruiserweight titles in 2018 to Usyk, isn’t buying the reports of such a massive gain.
He told talkSPORT Breakfast: “It’s a brilliant fight. There’s no chance he’s put on 16 pounds over what he weighed last time, not an absolute chance.
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“You can’t perform and do the things he can do if he’s 16 pounds heavier, in my opinion. It’s just nonsense.
“It will be a very good fight. I think AJ has all the attributes to do it and I actually think he’s going to do it.
“I know what you’re going to say ‘Bellew says that because he’s friends with AJ’. I’m also thinking about the world of Oleksandr Usyk, what a fighter and what a guy.
“Unfortunately, I know firsthand how good he is.”
Usyk is not only a master in the boxing ring, but also has some serious skills outside of it.
One of the things he likes to do is juggle and will do so for hours with various objects.
Asked about Usyk’s juggling habits, Bellew said: “He’s on the turn. It’s not complicated, he’s in the bend. It’ll help your hand-eye coordination to some extent, but will it stop him from getting punched in the face? Does it improve his feet? No.
“His feet are incredibly good, his distance judgment is perfect. There’s a reason he’s an Olympic gold medalist, there’s a reason he’s a great world champion. There’s a reason he’s the only undisputed four-belt cruiserweight champion.
“He’s an exceptional guy.”
Usyk vs. Joshua 2 on talkSPORT